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Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1443; doi:10.3390/s17061443

Development of a Novel Transparent Flexible Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415 Jian Gong Rd., Sanmin Dist., Kaohsiung 80778, Taiwan
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Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

This paper presents the world’s first transparent flexible capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) that was fabricated through a roll-lamination technique. This polymer-based CMUT has advantages of transparency, flexibility, and non-contacting detection which provide unique functions in display panel applications. Comprising an indium tin oxide-polyethylene terephthalate (ITO-PET) substrate, SU-8 sidewall and vibrating membranes, and silver nanowire transparent electrode, the transducer has visible-light transmittance exceeding 80% and can operate on curved surfaces with a 40 mm radius of curvature. Unlike the traditional silicon-based high temperature process, the CMUT can be fabricated on a flexible substrate at a temperature below 100 °C to reduce residual stress introduced at high temperature. The CMUT on the curved surfaces can detect a flat target and finger at distances up to 50 mm and 40 mm, respectively. The transparent flexible CMUT provides a better human-machine interface than existing touch panels because it can be integrated with a display panel for non-contacting control in a health conscious environment and the flexible feature is critical for curved display and wearable electronics. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer; flexible transducer; silver nanowire transparent electrode; SU-8; human-machine interface capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer; flexible transducer; silver nanowire transparent electrode; SU-8; human-machine interface
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pang, D.-C.; Chang, C.-M. Development of a Novel Transparent Flexible Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer. Sensors 2017, 17, 1443.

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